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  • Questions

    I have several questions and a diatom problem in my planted tank.
    First, and I am sure you get asked this a lot, I tend to buy your products in bulk.
    Last week I threw out a half of bottle of Prime, it had turned black, and I did not think I should risk my fish. Not sure how old it was. Would like your input on that
    I also have a big bottles of Equilibrium, Acid Buffer, and Alkaline Buffer, purchased 8 years (app) ago stored in a closet. In your opinion would it be alright to use or should I replace?

    What is the suggested w/c amount using your Flourish line of ferts. My old PlantDoseChart.pdf from
    Seachem years ago says 5%. Your newer chart does not mention the amount.

    If I decide to switch from tap to r/o,(tired of diatoms) I will have to order parts for my Pinnacle+ r/o unit. The retailer I purchased it from no longer sells them or has parts. Locally, the same problem.

    My last attempt to reconstitute r/o water killed $600.00 of Jack Wattley Discus. Since then I have been gun shy and used tap only. Are there any articles on this subject for Dummies?
    Maybe I should test the tap water with a silicate test kit? I do have a bottom layer of play sand underneath my substrate.
    thanks for your time.

  • #2
    Re: Questions

    Hi Rockster,

    Thanks for your questions. I apologize for the delayed response. None of the products you have listed have expiration dates and should be safe to use if they have been sealed and haven't been exposed to any contamination. Usually the biggest issue with the dry powders being stored that length of time is that they can harden if any moisture gets in, but they should still be ok to use. Prime often gets darker over time and continues to work the same, but it is always best to err on the side of caution. If you have chemicals that old, and something doesn't seem right, replacing it is the best idea.

    For water changes, the ideal amount for your tank is going to depend on the bioload, inhabitants, and frequency. As a rule of thumb, smaller, more frequent changes are better than infrequent, large changes. I recommend not changing more than 25% at once unless an emergency, though some hobbyist larger frequent changes. The important thing is maintaining stable conditions, so if you are doing larger water changes, the parameters need to be carefully matched. For many hobbyists, a 5-10% weekly water change is fine for a planted tank.

    If you need parts for your Pinnacle+ R/O unit, they are available from online retailers if you don't have a local source for R/O components. Most R/O components are standard sizes, so you don't have to find Pinnacle brand parts or cartridges.

    For reconstituting R/O water, I don't have a specific article I can point you to, but here is one on conditioning fresh water: There are many other articles under the "Library" tab at the top of the page.

    It is possible that the play sand is adding silicates and feeding your diatom outbreak. You could test for silicates with a test kit like our Multitest: Silicates test kit to determine if this is an issue. Also, you can use PhosGuard to remove the silicates which can help stop the algae growth. Many fish and snails also love eating diatom algae.

    I hope this helps. Have a nice day.